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Gloucestershire’s Accelerated Impact Network Support


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GAINS is a subsidised high-growth business support service, helping Gloucestershire's most promising SMEs to achieve their ambitions.

Through our business diagnostic tool, GAINS can help you discover the real issues holding your business back. We will then provide you with access to a network of quality-assured business coaches, who will work with you via a series of face-to-face sessions (adding up to 24 hours). Together you will develop the skills and knowhow to unlock ideas, breakthrough to the next level and realise your potential.

In addition, you will have the option to partner with University of Gloucestershire academics and students via tailored masterclasses, work placements, bespoke collaborative projects and through the sharing of research findings. GAINS clients and their teams can also attend up to five masterclasses led by industry experts and / or academic staff.

GAINS clients are required to invest £2600 (plus VAT) in order to join the scheme and in return they unlock a subsidy of £1000 towards the cost of the programme. GAINS clients also have to be able to demonstrate that they have high-growth ambitions and are capable of 20% growth year on year, and doubling in 3 years.

Crucially, a successful GAINS client is one that recognises that they have reached a point where they need additional support to add to the business skills they have and take on the challenge of high-growth.

Being part of GAINS is a unique experience, only available for a limited number of Gloucestershire businesses until March 2020. To find out more, contact us.

GAINS is a collaboration between the European Regional Development Fund and the University of Gloucestershire.

European Union - European Regional Development Fund

Invest and transform

We're helping businesses throughout Gloucestershire to achieve remarkable growth. Here is how we are helping two of those businesses:

Rockatek - Engineering for harsh environments.


Rockatek worked with a GAINS coach to develop a new, dynamic business strategy. Following this support, they exceeded their revenue targets for Year 2 by more than 60%.

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Established in December 2016, Rockatek was the brainchild of Jim Crowley, Dan Crowley and Dan Minett-Smith. All three are Chartered Mechanical Engineers and they decided to set up the business when their former employer closed its plant in Tewkesbury. Their consultancy business offers expert services in design, technical analysis and testing.

As with all new businesses, developing a client base was their biggest hurdle to overcome. Moreover, in classic start up style, each of the new directors did everything in the new business, with little coordination or specialism of roles. They realised that they needed advice on how to build a solid business strategy and sales story for their business.

After registration and initial diagnosis, the GAINS programme provided them with the chance to interview three GAINS registered coaches. They eventually selected Debbie Bird to be their coach.

All three directors quickly involved themselves in the coaching sessions, taking on board the advice and coaching provided by Debbie to develop their business techniques and to build a new dynamic business strategy.

One of the earliest lessons was that in order to become a cohesive business and able to grow, they needed to identify specialist roles for each director. Once that discipline was in place, Debbie encouraged them to move away from a 'take anything on at any price' approach and instead develop a sales model and charge for their services as a company and a business.

Initially they were fearful of losing business and putting off new clients. However, what followed was rapid growth from existing clients, acquisition of new business and new market entry. They exceeded their challenging revenue targets for Year 2 by more than 60%, and have recently recruited two new staff.

"We are all really happy now where the business is going. My advice to anyone thinking about using the service is go into this with an open mind and work hard with your coach through the early stages, it will pay huge dividends!"

Jim Crowley, Rockatek

DS Accountancy.

DS Accountancy

With the support of a GAINS coach, DS Accountancy has exceeded their original growth projections for 2018 by 32%. They are on track to double in size in the next two years.

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Established in 2011 by Joe David, DS Accountancy has quickly established itself as a leading brand in the professional accounting industry. However, with the business accent heavily on cloud based and digital technology, Joe David is leading the drive to encourage more business from farther afield.

The business was originally built on the more traditional services provided by accountants, principally compliance. However, Joe quickly realised that in order to achieve his business growth ambitions, a more dynamic model was needed - one that was based on digital technology. Joe also realised that he would need expert assistance and support in order to achieve his goals.

After an initial introduction to the programme by the GAINS team, Joe met with Richard Gray, a GAINS registered coach. Coaching sessions were held at DS Accountancy's offices, enabling the involvement of the whole DS team when required.

With Richard's help, Joe developed a new business model. Built around digital technology and their growing business advisory service, this new approach has contributed to DS Accountancy exceeding their original growth projections for 2018 by 32%, and they are on track to double in size in the next two years.

"I would not hesitate to recommend GAINS to any SME business looking to get help, advice and support to achieve their growth ambitions."

Joe David, Managing Director, DS Accountancy

Are you eligible?

Find out if you are eligible to join the GAINS programme

More info...

Are you eligible?

Smiling woman.

GAINS is a bespoke service only available to Gloucestershire SMEs until March 2020.

In order to benefit from the programme you must:

  • Have fewer than 250 employees
  • Be based in Gloucestershire
  • Have received less than €200,000 in state aid over the last three fiscal years

Eligibility criteria ERDF privacy notice

If you are interested in joining GAINS but are unsure if you meet the eligibility criteria, or if you would like to find out more, then contact us.

Meet the GAINS coaches

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GAINS has a network of high quality business coaches. They have all been through a rigorous selection process to ensure they represent the best business brains from across the county.

We're proud to work with our coaches, who we believe are the expert co-pilot you need in your business.

Find out more about our coaches:

Links to external websites (not managed by the university).

Masterclasses and events

An academic giving a lecture to students.

Through partnerships with industry experts and University of Gloucestershire academics, GAINS offers a programme of innovative and fully-funded masterclasses and events.

These half day events are held on a monthly basis, with subjects including:

  • Accessing funding and finance sources
  • Marketing strategy planning and development
  • Customer acquisition and managing your clients
  • Leadership & Management skills, and team development

We encourage clients to promote these events to members of their management teams so they are also able to benefit from the GAINS experience.

Academic support via GAINS

Partner with academics and students to take your projects forward

More info...

Realise the benefits

An academic talking to a student.

Access some of the best business brains in the county

Every business has projects that are side-lined due to lack of time, resources or funding. These projects can be crucial to a business's ability to realise high-growth ambitions, but get overlooked in favour of other more pressing priorities.

GAINS can help you bring these projects to life and realise the benefits by using academic resources to take them forward.

Our funding is provided from the European Regional Development Fund and the University of Gloucestershire. This funding arrangement enables the GAINS programme to provide a collaborative experience for our clients and partner with University of Gloucestershire academics and students via work placements, bespoke projects and the sharing of research. As such, our clients are able to benefit from some of the best business brains available in the county.

To find out more how you can join GAINS and take advantage of this, contact us.

Contact us

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Contact the GAINS Team